Making waves with a timeless memorial
Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe
This important international memorial lies in the historic heart of Berlin. It consists of 2,711 concrete stelae, each uniquely planned to so that together they give the appearance of a wave-like ripple passing over an area that covers more than 19,000m2.
The integrated Buro Happold team worked across structural design, site infrastructure and building services to realise this beautiful but complex concept.
Constructing the stelae posed a number of challenges for our team, not least rendering the subtle undulations while keeping control of costs. Engineering the building services for the underground visitor centre proved tricky, due to the lack of space for technical equipment and distribution networks, as did delivering effective fire safety and evacuation measures.
To realise the field of stelae, our engineers tested various different sizes to ascertain which would best suit the architect’s vision. We then devised an innovative construction strategy that ensured the necessary number of stelae could be supplied and laid on schedule and within budget.
We also designed an effective fire safety strategy for the underground visitor centre whereby, in the event of a fire, all entrance doors open automatically to let visitors out, while smoke is naturally ventilated through ceiling grilles that are hidden from view.
It was an honour to be part of the team responsible for realising this memorial, which will stand as a poignant reminder and valuable source of education for generations to come.